the house of wigs #48 · filed 09/08/04 · transcription enedina brunecz
OK I give my job the stinkfinger on a regular basis, but last week was pretty good, I have to admit. First off, one of our clients hooked us up with a plush suite at the US Open. I assumed it’d be like box seats, like a glassed-in cell, but it was more like a hotel room carved out of the side of the stadium. A/C, couches, private bathroom for pissing out free beer, mini-sandwiches, TVs showing the matches if you didn’t feel like going out to the balcony and actually watching them, etc. The downside was it was filled with losers from other agencies, but after carefully building a mental cocoon out of free beer, it didn’t really matter.
The biggest celebrity we could drum up was Matthew Perry, whose giant head you could see from across the stadium. The way he crossed his legs could only be described as epicene.
I went to work the next morning, feeling a little delicate but secure in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have much to do. I eagerly anticipated a quiet morning of calm repose, resting my weary head against a nice cool monitor. But as I was staggering toward the office I was nearly run over by a Subaru station wagon. Behind the wheel was a tattooed designer, sporting mirrored aviator glasses and a cigarette. “GET IN THE CAR,” he ordered. “WE’RE GOING TO THE STUDIO. NOW.”
I had no idea what he was talking about. I was so rattled over here. I got in and maybe cried a little. As he peels out I realize “the studio” is the place where we’re doing recording and editing and whatnots on this little commercial we’re making, which I’d totally forgotten about. Luckily, it turned out to RULE, this studio time. Firstly, we had to audition tons of stock background music, and seriously, you pop one of those into Pro Tools, auto-tune me singing, and you’ve got Matchbox 20, ten minutes flat. That’s this week’s hot hint.
But the choicest part was working with the voice-over actor. You know how everyone does the deep, ominous “in a world” voice these days, but it sounds forced sometimes? Like all the guys who got their start doing “wacky” voices now have to do the “in a world” voice because that’s where the money is, so they have to strain at it? Not the dude we hired. This guy was the real deal. Silver-haired, smooth, professional, charming, and “in a world” was his natural voice. Here’s me totally eating out of his hand.
And he suckered me no problem. He’s all singing the praises of the copy I wrote, saying what a joy it is to read the words, how comfortable the rhythms are, how evocative the language — “This is wonderful — not a hard sell, you’re just sharing some good news.” And I’m all: Oh tee hee stop it you! Blushing and hiding my face with my lace kerchief. Because he could seriously say anything and I’d believe it because he’s saying it in what he calls his “warm, rich, authoritative voice.”
Then later on the editing guy was saying how the voice actor was “the biggest bullshit artist in the world” and I felt a little sheepish about falling under his spell but then I said: NO! THIS THING WE HAVE, ME AND HIM, IT IS REAL!
I regret not asking him to do a quick answering-machine message for me while we were recording. Wouldn’t that be sweet? Movie-trailer voice saying leave a freaking message? (Oh and that reminds me, whenever he’d mess up a line he’d say “ah fangool!” or however you spell it — something I’ve never heard actual real-life non-mafia people say.) But I guess that’s like asking a great sculptor to make a bust of some girl you liked in high school so you could fondle her whenever you wanted. Which is ANOTHER awesome idea.